Yippie, we are out of a recession !!!!!

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pulling money out fo a hat - the recession is over

I know it's been all over the news since the 20th of September, that we are now out of a recession since June. But I am curious, where the hell have I been all of this time. Who is stating these facts?  Did we just pull millions of dollars magically out of a hat?

Let's look at several facts.

--  We are going into an election period.  So is this just 'feel good' talk to get one to think otherwise?

--  The Homebuyers Tax Credit.  In my opinion, that artificially stimulated the economy. But that helped some real estate numbers look good, like there was a real recovery.

--  Jobs? Sure, some jobs have been created, but within the government and this could add to the free spending that has taken place. So how has that helped. What about those small businesses that keep laying off or close shop.  Just some ideas for food for thought.

--  Foreclosure numbers keep rising and mortgage modifications not only become more difficult, but 50% or more that are helped, fail 6 months later.



If you don’t want the truth or face the facts, don’t continue reading.

So let’s define recession. All definitions below are from wikipedia.  “A recession in economics is a business cycle contraction, a general slowdown in economic activity over a period of time.” There seems to be two strong definitions of recession outside of what was just mentioned.

  • The main rule of thumb, which is simply defined “as a period when GDP falls (negative real economic growth) for at least two quarters. The GDP is the measure of a country’s overall economic output.”
  • Then you have the NBER, the National Bureau of Economic Research, who is generally seen as the authority for dating U.S. recessions. The NBER states a recession “as a significant decline in the economic activity spread across the country, lasting for more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP growth, real personal income, employment not to include farm payrolls, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.”

Here is what scares me the most. Back in mid 2007 to early 2008, I had written several times which can be documented that we have been in a slight recession since early 2007.  But look at this. It wasn’t until December 2008 that the NBER stated that the recession had started one year earlier, in December 2007.  Here is a good article from MSNBC,  ‘Great Recession’ over, research group says.

So here is the main question at hand. What or who actually determines when we are out of a recession?  Glad you asked, because it seems to be based on more of a thought process than in general terms. What specific numbers that look good in a month or two, when in reality, the overall picture is not good. And common sense?  My common sense tells me that it's not getting better.  Read along....



We don't want bad news, that is all we hear. We hate doom and gloom. But if we don’t know about it or think things are better just because we are told so, how does one fix the problems that we face now as a country?  I certainly don’t want to be sweeping this under the rug, just because it’s been determined that we are now out of a recession.

What should be very important and talked about most, right now, so we can move forward?

  • Unemployment/jobs – What happened to this so-called stimulus package in May 2009 that was going to stimulate jobs?  The only jobs I truly saw created were those within the government.
  • Small businesses – we need to keep focus on helping the small business not fail. In my opinion, without small businesses, it will hurt our economy greatly.
  • Real Estate – Home values have plummeted in many areas. We are still seeing more and more foreclosures and over 50% of those that get mortgage modifications, fail on their payment plans 6 months after.
  • Wall Street – It’s been a yo-yo for the last 12 months, with hardly any consistencies. Up 100 pts, down 100 pts. People are afraid to invest. Many would rather keep the money under their mattress.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, made this statement. “It was noteworthy that the panel settled on June, as it was during that month that the spending from the Recovery Act stimulus was at its maximum.”

In my honest opinion, I think nothing should have been said, because every month I see specific numbers fluctuate up and down. I didn’t graduate Harvard with an MBA in Economics, but from talking to so many on the streets, seeing it daily with my own two eyes, small businesses going out of business, we have a ways to go. Why try to make us feel good with such a statement, based on numbers that keep changing, or indicators that can be manipulated.  Could this just be a political spin because of the upcoming elections?

There needs to be a call to action and that Main Street America deserves more than just some ‘feel good’ words. How can we help?  Your vote means more now than ever before, this coming November. It’s a start and we need a fresh start. We need to think this through and all come together. What do you say?



Lewis Poretz even wrote about this and stated all of what I stated in simple terms.

Will the second dip be worse than the first?


Myrl Jeffcoat gives an excellent quote from Charles Dickens at the end of her post... please go and read it.

The Recession is Over – But Is it Really?


Here is some more news... Durable goods orders fall 1.3% in August, missing expectations 

Just more reason why I think, again, that we jumped the gun in stating that the reason is over....


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Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans


PAUL.. . that's the whole thing, define better. Inflation.. deflation... recession... depression.. right now, we just need to focus on some key elements. And I agree, I still see it taking 3 yrs plus for some sort of recovery. But then again, define recovery.  What about the future 10 to 20 yrs from now. Will we really crawl out of this hole?  hhhhmmmm

RICHIE... . that is one of my biggest problems with the powers, those high up... have the power to say what they want and what they think others want to hear. Aren't they like a glorified sales person at times?  And thanks for the polite compliment.

SHAWN... . I guess it's funny, but the end result is that it's sad on how they think.  thanks

EILEEN.... . well, they definitely aren't the same.. but what irks me is that they make these statements, but nobody really defines these terms or truly tell what was used to make such a determination.

IRENE.... . what, you aren't there already?

JEANNE & RALPH.... . I keep getting news updates about such economic indicators and wonder what they are truly looking at.... or what figures they tend to ignore. It baffles me and this argument could go on for years with the top economists... some will be on one side and some will be on the other side. I guess those that are with the President are the ones that are right...  hhhmmm

BRENT & DEB.... . yes, we need business people to lead this country... and those that have been in the trenches.. not those stuck on Capital Hill, thinking that they know it all because they have some Harvard degree... not that a degree from Havard is bad... but I think it's overrated at times. We need to learn from those in the trenches. thanks

ROB... .  well, we know it won't go over with them very well. Then again, how many are milking it though.. or trying?  Just throwing that out there.  I see both...

CYNTHIA.... . as much as this is bad news, which people don't want to hear... we need to hear it, and why... so we can help fix it or try...  just my opinion on why I don't like to hear fluff.  And thank you very much about our new site, the Mortgage Myth Busters.  We are excited about it and want to push the questions & answers part.. to be better than a Trulia or Zillow.. for many reasons.  So, thanks for that polite compliment.

MISSY.... . I hope it didn't make you wreck your car.... but yes, we can ask those that are most affected by all of this. But more so, as I mentioned in a few comments, we need real life people, those from the trenches who can help and who have been through this.. and not just those that sit on Capital Hill.  thanks


Sep 25, 2010 04:33 AM #35
The Somers Team
The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA
Delivering Real Estate Happiness

Jeff - Great post.  Glad it was featured !  Yes, just because we are out of a recession does not mean that we are in growth expansion, that is for sure.  Definitely not a v-shaped recovery.  Yes, things may not be getting worse, but they are definitely not getting better.  Yes, corporate news is not bad, but most of the growth is overseas, and not much is domestic.  The unemployment rate is scary and that is where the focus should be, that and on small business.  The talk about not extending the Bush tax cuts is scary.  November elections will create some change and will help to some degree but then what.  It is crazy out there.  The numbers are all over the place : ).

Only time will tell !  In the mean time, lets keep a pulse on whats going out there together with our blogs !  ~ Chris

Sep 25, 2010 05:19 AM #36
Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

Jeff, I didn't get the memo about the recession being over, I'll have to check my spam blocker...my computer must have seen this news as a fake.

Sep 25, 2010 05:20 AM #37
Brooks Conkle
ForeFront Real Estate LLC - Mobile, AL

Eeek.  Not so sure if we're out of this thing or not.  Unemployment still high.  Faked increased demand with tax credit.  Millions of backlogged foreclosures.  More banks in trouble.  And now strategic defaults by people saying ''screw it.''

Sep 25, 2010 05:42 AM #38
Bryan Robertson
Los Altos, CA

According to the reports, the recession has been over for 8 months.  I've been railing against the negative press for almost that long.  All the other segments of the economy that are "down" will turn around just fine if we focus on being positive.

Sep 25, 2010 05:53 AM #39
Mike Morrison
Will & Will Real Estate Brokers, The Woodlands, Texas - Houston, TX

Jim you mean we CAN'T print prosperity?  Somebody should raise taxes on small business owners pronto. And subsidize windmills.And solar... That should do the trick. Next! What's next Strategic Defaults by the TBTF Banks?" I'm sorry, we can't find your loan info. sir, oh, wait here it is, It's not worth anything so we don't carry your loan on the balance sheet, you know, pesky capital requirements."

Repeat after me: The economy isn't CRASHING, it's DECELERATING.

Sep 25, 2010 05:55 AM #40
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Jeff, here's my take.  I am not going to argue this point and here's why.  Sometimes all people need to hear is that "we're out of a recession".  Just the simple mention of these words can stimulate consumers enough to get off the fence and make purchases.  Many will say, "Darn, I missed the bottom of the market.  I better go out and buy that house before interest rates start to creep back up."  Isn't that what we want?  I know that's what I want.  So there is no advantage to me to argue this point.  Instead, I'm telling every client I have "We're out of the recession, it's time to buy!!"

Sep 25, 2010 08:09 AM #41
Wendy Betts
South Delta & S. Surrey Realtor

Another case of "Say it and they'll believe it"  And lets think up a new word for unemployment, bankruptcy, foreclosure while we're at it!  "Recession" is simply overused.  "Stimulus"...another word rarely heard prior to this "Economic Down Turn"  Sheesh, bring back Jim Henson and the Muppet Show!

Sep 25, 2010 08:26 AM #42
Mike Morrison
Will & Will Real Estate Brokers, The Woodlands, Texas - Houston, TX

Now Wendy, Its not a stimulus it's an economic development plan...

Remember, we're not experiencing DEFLATION, but DISINFLATION. And soon you can just reverse the two.

 Some say the recovery has sputtered, but it would be more accurate to say the economy has stubbornly refused to recover since bottoming out last year.

Ben says I'm only going to repeat this once. SO LISTEN UP: Quantitative Easing will make this disappear. Oh no sireee!!!!!! There was no bubble bursting or anything!!It was just a 'Relief Fart' of excesses in the system! why, you wanna kill a beautiful system for just excess gas!! We need to update the definition of "delinquent" to better match the optimism and reflect the recovery summer our bold President has engineered. If you squint real hard and think about it, loans really aren't delinquent until the Homeowners phones are disconnected and the power is turned off. Until that happens there is hope. GOT IT!! Don't make me send Tim over to talk to EVIL Real Estate People.I'm the Fed Chairman and what I say goes.

Sep 25, 2010 08:55 AM #43
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans


CHRIS... .  that's the whole problem and concern.. even if things aren't getting worse on paper, are they getting better? Sure, in a few months, we have seen spending... but in most cases, all other numbers are down and some getting worse. I guess it's called.. pick and choose day.  I'll pick these good numbers, yet ignore these bad numbers.  Overall, yes, we need to still write about this... people need to be aware and not just assume because they heard what they liked. We need to come together, group ideas together, and grow as one... work as one... and make this happen.  thanks

STEVE... .  funny... I'll make sure the gov't has you on their priority list.  ;o)

BROOKS... . that is another thing, about the strategic defaults and such... which it's still happening at high clips. thanks

BRYAN... .  don't be fooled for the fact that this post might come across negative, because it's bad news. I think many of us think positive in our daily lives. But we need to hear the truth in order to make things change. But sorry, just saying that things should turn around and to be positive that way might have gotten us in some of these messes. To me, that's called "hope", which President Obama has used often. And just by praying, hoping, and staying positive, doesn't always make things better. Besides, how long should we then just sit back, telling ourselves that things do turn around, and just to be positive about it?  Question.. what happens in the next 2 years that this method didn't work then?  Then what?  Sorry, but we need to do now and one wouldn't know if I kept on ramming positive thoughts down someones throat and telling people what they want to here.. it's human nature for people to relax some then and just think it will get better.  We need leaders to take charge and not just hope... thanks


MIKE M. ... .  I am assuming Jim was meant for me, because I don't remember replying to a Jim in this thread.  And I am assuming that your next few sentences were you just being sarcastic, right?  I just want to be on the same page. In any case, that is the scary part, about raising taxes on small businesses.. how does one expect them to survive then?  hhhmmmm  Could this be a way to kill our economy even more? Does someone have a plan?  Don't get me started.. No matter what we call the economy, it's in dire straights and there is to much proof out there.  thanks


TAMMI... . that is a huge problem that I have and I am glad that you are okay with that.  But that to me is like misleading the public then... unless you truly believe that we are out of a recession. But are you telling me that you are using this "we are out of a recession" to help sell more homes?  In my opinion, there are better ways to sell houses or to get buyers to buy than to say, "we are out of a recession". Yes, you can say.. rates are extremely low..because they are. That home values have dropped, because they have..... etc, etc.  But to pass out false security? I guess some people can sleep at night for that almighty dollar. Besides, people are scared and the smart ones should know better, no matter what we tell them. Overall, I guess you are okay then to use such simple words, "we are out of a recession", to get people off the fence, even if it's not true. Sorry, but I believe in educating the average person.. When I talk to a potential client, I go over all of their finances and make sure they understand what they are doing... that they are secure in their decision... etc, etc.. just my opinion.


WENDY... . I don't think we can use stimulus to replace recession.. unless you are saying that they are trying to mislead the public with using stimulus. Or that stimulus should sound positive and that it should work. I have seen very little proof that the prior stimulus package worked.. sure, it helped a little... but not even close to what was "promised".. and that the President wants to unleash another stimulus package? Sorry, it won't happen if not done by November's elections.. Just my opinion.  But I think your whole point is that, what they say, they hope people believe... thanks

MIKE M. ... . I loved your last several sentences in regards to squinting our eyes and that one could possibly see different meanings of a certain word or phrase. And I agree, you have to love how the current administration keeps changing their ways, views, and words... just to make it sound not as bad as it really is.. and all of these false promises of programs that are put in place, knowing that for the most part, they will fail. aarrrggghhhh..


Sep 25, 2010 09:47 AM #44
Nevin Williams
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation - Cary, NC
Senior Mortgage Advisor

Recession?  What recession?  I think you and I should run for office!

Sep 25, 2010 09:55 AM #45
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Jeff, It was kinda funny, when I read Don't keep reading if you don't want the facts, my first thought was, I don't need the facts, we're Not out of it. lol Thanks for clarifying though. Much appreciated.

Sep 25, 2010 11:21 AM #46
Ken's Home Team LLC. | 360.609.0226 | Portland, OR & Vancouver, WA Real Estate Team
Ken's Home Team LLC. - Vancouver, WA

I know they are saying that we are out of it, however, we still have a lot of bank owned property that we need to get rid of and we also have a lot of property that the banks have not taken back yet that we will need to sell.... so we still have a little what to go.. This is the right direction so her we go!!


Hi Ho HI HO its off to work I GO!!!

Sep 25, 2010 12:15 PM #47
Liz Flint
Century 21 Hardee-Team Realty - Houston, TX
Houston\Tomball Realtor (832)816-8066

Hi Jeff, I'm all for anything that will get buyers and sellers calling the office again and being ready to buy and sell.  For a while now everyone has been scared to do anything.

Sep 25, 2010 12:27 PM #48
Scott Baker
www.eHomeReports.com Coldwell Banker West Shell - Liberty Township, OH
Realtor Homes for Sale Cincinnati/Dayton Ohio

People, consumers, don't care what labels economists place on their situation. Recession, depression, it really doesn't matter. There is not a person alive that changes their outlook on life and decides to go buy a new Toaster, TV, or car simply because a spokesman makes a declaration of "the recession is over" Whew...I'm glad that's over. We can now go spend money even though I am concerned I may not have job tomorrow, the economist says that the recession is over. Sorry, just doesn't work that way. People react to what THEY are experiencing.

The economist that can measure consumer's fear, accurately, would be worth his/her weight in gold.  

Sep 25, 2010 12:30 PM #49
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans


NEVIN... .I don't which would be harder... being a politician or doing mortgages...  I would just lose, wouldn't do well, because I can be seen through.. that I consider myself to be to transparent. besides, I need money to run.. lol

ERIC... .   well, I wrote this with a little twist, kind of like a reverse psychological feeling... we need the facts, right?  thanks

KEN... . in or out of a recession, there are a lot of problems that just can't be ignored... and these issues won't go away any time soon, no matter how many stimulus packages they throw into the fire, which I would think would do more damage than good.  Not unless they gave everyone $45,000 each.. in my opinion, that would stimulate the economy..

LIZ... .  seriously, you want to mislead the public to make a quick buck?  People don't need good news or bad news to know it's bad. You think people will be rushing to buy now, just because the gov't says that we are out of a recession?  rut row... Those that have common smarts and street smarts know better. Only those that are in a good place, decent credit, and some kind of money will buy. Just like the home buyers tax credit.. there were less than 8% that bought just because of the incentive. Most others were going to buy anyhow...  it's a fact. thanks

SCOTT... . bingo... thanks for that statement, which I think is right own the mark. I hope Liz above you reads this.. thanks for the comment.


Sep 25, 2010 12:42 PM #50
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Boy am I glad to hear that news.  As long as it's in the press - I guess it must be true!

Sep 25, 2010 12:42 PM #51
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Right smack dab in the middle of the Great Depression.  It was actually two recessions, interupted by an ass-load of government spending.  Seem familiar?

Sep 25, 2010 01:57 PM #52
Mary Jo Quay
EXP Realty - Minneapolis, MN
I Move You Home

Unemployment tells the tale.  Not only did the economy kick the wind out of our sails, but the evolution of technology and outsourcing changed the small business landscape.  One report said that the kids in high school will have a series of jobs in their lifetime, and many of those jobs doen't even exist yet.

Middle and upper management who lost their jobs are the hardest hit, and take longest to recover because their skill set is not always transferable. 

Even though the GNP is up slightly the last two quarters, no one is breathing a sigh of relief yet.

Sep 25, 2010 02:47 PM #53
Robert T. Boyer
FHA Loan, VA Loan, Jumbo Loan,FHA Loans,VA Loans,Jumbo Loans - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Real Estate & Mortgage Loans, Ph.D. | VA Home Loan

Lane called it.  I second it.  I think it is important to declare the end of the recession, otherwise we make history with a double-dip recession, instead of back-to-back recessions.

Sep 25, 2010 05:03 PM #54
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